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Applying Lean Six Sigma methods to reduce length of stay in a hospital's emergency department

Summary: Operational excellence is critical to throughput and patient flow in an emergency department. This case study applied the Lean Six Sigma DMAIC methodology to improve throughput as measured by reducing patients’ length of stay by 30% in just 3 months, and reducing the percent of patients leaving without treatment from 6.5% to .3%. The patient satisfaction, as measured by patient satisfaction surveys, had increased by 24% to 89.9%. This allowed the ED to achieve the top 1% level of hospitals nationally. This case study demonstrates the value of engaging healthcare providers in improving their processes through application of Lean Six Sigma methods.

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  • Topics: Statistics
  • Keywords: DMAIC emergency departments, Emergency services, Lean Six Sigma, Nonparametric methods, Process improvement, Quality-management systems, Six Sigma method
  • Author: Furterer, Sandra L.
  • Journal: Quality Engineering